Yamaha FZ250 faster than a KTM Duke 250, but is it really? We explain!

Yamaha launched the much-awaited FZ25 in India at an attractive price of Rs. 1.19 lakh, making it cheapest 250cc motorcycle here, and Rs. 54,000 cheaper than the KTM 250 Duke, which was also launched just about a week ago. Now, V-BOX tests of both the bikes has revealed that the less powerful Yamaha FZ25is faster than the KTM Duke 250. But is it, really? If so, how and why? We explain!

Who is faster?

Recently, videos of 0-100 km/h tests done with the help of VBOX have surfaced, and they suggest that the Yamaha FZ25 is quicker than the KTM 250 Duke. According to the PowerDrift, the VBOX tested speed and timing of the Yamaha FZ25 are faster than the KTM 250 Duke. Here are videos below.

Yamaha FZ25
0-60 km/h – 3.37 seconds
0-100 km/h –  8.58 seconds
Top Speed – 134.01 km/h (142 km/h speedometer indicated)

KTM 250 Duke
0-60 km/h – 3.44 seconds
0-100 km/h – 8.64 seconds
Top Speed- 137.72 km/h (142 km/h- speedometer indicated)

VBOX is a high accuracy GPS device that gives accurate data through multiple GPS sensors.

The rivals

Yamaha FZ250 faster than a KTM Duke 250, but is it really? We explain!

Yamaha powers the FZ25 with a single-cylinder, 249cc, air-cooled engine that generates a maximum of 20.4 BHP and maximum torque of 20.4 Nm. The fuel is delivered through a chip controlled injection system. Looking at the power of the motorcycle on paper, many enthusiasts commented how FZ25 is underpowered in the segment and will not feel like an ideal quarter-litre bike on the road.

KTM also entered the segment with the 250 Duke. The motorcycle was launched as a surprise in the market and was welcomed by the enthusiast community. KTM powers the 250 Duke with a liquid-cooled, single cylinder 249cc engine that generates a maximum of 31 BHP and 24 Nm of maximum power. The 250 Duke also comes with slipper clutch, a first in the segment.

Yamaha FZ250 faster than a KTM Duke 250, but is it really? We explain!

The most interesting part is the weight of the motorcycles. The kerb weight of the KTM 250 Duke is 161 kg, while the Yamaha FZ25 weighs only 148 kg. Weight can be a major factor while comparing two motorcycles. The KTM 250 Duke has much more power and torque than the FZ25, and this makes it a winner while comparing them on paper.

But is the FZ25 really quicker than the 250 Duke?

Yamaha FZ250 faster than a KTM Duke 250, but is it really? We explain!

Let’s start with the location of the top-speed of both the motorcycles. The KTM 250 Duke was tested at the Bajaj’s test track in Chakan near Pune. The Yamaha FZ25 was tested in Goa. Chakan is situated 2120 feet above sea level but Goa is at the sea level.

  1. Now with the altitude, air becomes thinner, and the oxygen density becomes less. At sea level, the oxygen stays at 20.9 percent but at 2,000 feet above sea level, the oxygen becomes 19.4 percent. The motorcycle has to work more as it gains altitude due to lack of oxygen. Even though both the motorcycles come with closed loop fuel injection system, the lack of oxygen will affect the performance.
  2. Also, other environmental factors like atmospheric pressure, humidity affects the motorcycle’s efficiency. Chakan and Goa have a great divide of 500 km and the same can cause huge difference in temperature too.
  3. Another big factor is weight. If a 60 kilogram heavy rider tested the FZ250 and a 100 kilogram heavy rider, both with equal skills, tested the Duke 250, the FZ is likely to be faster due to the weight advantage. Now, skill set also matters while performance testing. If a rider with lesser skill tested the Duke, it’s likely that the bike will deliver lower acceleration timings.
  4. Gearing matters.
  5. Finally, a single test under dissimilar conditions isn’t conclusive.

How to do such tests conclusively?

Even though the test gives us a broad idea of the motorcycles, a fair test result can be determined by only testing the motorcycles at the same location. To get an accurate estimate, there should be multiple riders who swap the motorcycles after each run, giving an average of the result.

Both the motorcycles belong to the commuter segment and in a broader picture, their 0-100 km/h timing should not matter. In real life, such results would not matter at all. However, finding a motorcycle that comes so close in performance to another that is Rs. 54,000 expensive – that does not happen often.